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Offbeat News

France's President Macron tells French to stop moaning

Colombey-les-deux- - France's President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday urged his compatriots to moan less, saying the country would be better off if they emulated wartime leader Charles de Gaulle.

French linguists want to bid adieu to 'fake news'

Paris - Defenders of the French language on Thursday pleaded with people to stop using the English term "fake news", recommending they refer to "information fallacieuse" instead.

Teetotal Trump asks world to imagine him drunk

Washington - Lifelong teetotaler Donald Trump is already loud, brash and provocative, so just imagine him after a few drinks, the US president quipped Monday.

Hitler standing for Peruvian mayor after Lenin objection dismissed

- Hitler will stand in Peru's municipal elections on October 7 after authorities rejected a bid from Lenin to have him barred.

Meghan stuns Britain by shutting car door

London - The gesture is so mechanical few people even notice it.Yet when Meghan Markle, the US actress turned newly-wed wife of Britain's Prince Harry, closed her own car door, a wave of shock and awe rolled over Britain.

Pope Francis gets Estonian e-residency

Tallinn - Pope Francis on Tuesday became an e-resident of Estonia while on a visit to the cyber-savvy Baltic country known for being one of the world's most wired nations.

Baltic pagans ask pope for help over religious status battle

Vilnius - Latvian and Lithuanian neo-pagans have called on Pope Francis to end local Catholic opposition to their quest for religious recognition in the Baltic states, ahead of the pontiff's visit to the region Saturday.

Indonesian city orders top staff to 'pray or get a new job'

Jakarta - An Indonesian city has ordered its top civil servants to visit their local mosque for dawn prayers or risk being sacked, underscoring the growing influence of religion across the world's biggest Muslim majority country.

Trump on EU's Juncker: 'tough, nasty'

Washington - US President Donald Trump called powerful EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker "nasty" on Tuesday -- but that was a compliment."He's tough, he's nasty, the kind of guy I want negotiating for me," Trump told reporters at the White House.

Nappy change: Dutch to turn diapers into furniture

Den Haag - Fed-up with a growing mountain of stinking disposable nappies, a Dutch firm Tuesday started building the country's first recycling plant to turn poo into profit.

Solo Aussie outback cop mans beat the size of Britain

Birdsville - Being the only policeman in an area the size of Britain might be daunting for some, but not for Senior Constable Stephan Pursell.

In Canada, 28-year-old immigrant wins lottery — twice

Montr - A young west African immigrant who moved to Canada two years ago has hit the lottery jackpot -- twice.Melhig Melhig, 28, won two scratch-off games in the space of five months. Total winnings? CAN $3.5 million (US $2.7 million).

Putin, Xi flip pancakes at Russian economic forum

Vladivostok - Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping on Tuesday took a break from the heavy lifting of international diplomacy to toss pancakes on the sidelines of an economic forum.

China kindergarten principal sacked for pole dance show

Bejing - A kindergarten principal in China trying to liven up a formal back-to-school ceremony with a racy pole dancer was fired after angry parents lit up social media with complaints.

Director Gavras slams 'bad taste' joke after hoaxer tweets his 'death'

Atenas - The Greek-French filmmaker Costa Gavras was forced to deny rumours of his own demise on Thursday after some media were fooled by a fake ministerial Twitter account announcing he had died.

Mayin' Alive! British PM's dance moves dubbed the 'Maybot'

London - British Prime Minister Theresa May's somewhat stiff dance moves won mixed reviews on Wednesday as she became an unlikely social media star with her "Maybot" manoeuvres.

Tourists complain French cicadas are 'too loud'

Paris - It is the quintessential sound of the Mediterranean in summer, but for some French tourists the cicadas of Provence are just too noisy.

Batting for ballots: Imran Khan and other sports stars turned politicians

Islamabad - Imran Khan's anointment as Pakistan's new prime minister caps a more than two decade transformation from a World Cup winning cricket captain to a world leader, placing him in charge of a nuclear armed state.

Brazilian cops drop 'masculinity' requirement

S - Police candidates in southern Brazil are now free to get in touch with their softer side."Masculinity" has been dropped from the list of 72 required attributes for wannabe cops in the state of Parana. Also gone: a prohibition on falling in love.

Boat loving Italian MP resigns after absences row

Rome - An Italian sailing champion turned MP -- who justified frequent parliamentary absences by saying he could do politics from his boat -- announced his resignation Saturday, blaming a "media lynching".

Playing with history: Corsica's Playmobil homage to Napoleon

Ajaccio - Tucked away on a side street near the Corsican home where Napoleon Bonaparte was born, a mini museum invites young minds to relive the French emperor's story -- through scenes painstakingly built from hundreds of Playmobil figurines.

Grey is the new black: Turkmen autocrat ditches the dye

Ashgabat - The ruler of ex-Soviet Turkmenistan has ditched his signature black hair dye -- a move that will be closely analysed in a nation famed for its leadership personality cults.

China 'waterfall' skyscraper hit by torrent of ridicule

Bejing - A skyscraper in southwest China that boasts what its owner calls the world's largest man-made waterfall has become the latest example of over-the-top architecture to draw national ridicule.

Ruling from your home: Inside Australia's micronations boom

Sydney - Lounging on a sofa in his flowing robes, a gold crown resting on his snowy hair and a stuffed white toy tiger at his feet, Paul Delprat looks every bit a monarch.

China chili fest gets off to scorching start

Muziping - An annual chili pepper festival kicked off Monday in central China's spice-loving Hunan province with a chili-eating contest in which the winner set a blistering pace by downing a gut-busting 50 peppers in just over a minute.

Late boarding bid lands Ukrainian in Cyprus custody

Nicosia - Cyprus police arrested a Ukrainian on Wednesday after he scaled an airport security fence in a desperate bid to join his family on a flight despite missing the final boarding call.

Sex, sports and rock 'n' roll... Mexican election style

Mexico - From a semi-naked candidate's Tinder campaign to the heavy-metal rocker who says he wants to be Mexico's next president, here is a look at the lighter side of the country's elections this Sunday.

New head of 'space nation' aims for the stars

Vienna - It sounds appealing given the state of politics on Earth: a plan to launch a utopian "space nation" with the aim of transcending earthly divisions.

English Bulldog drools way to World's Ugliest Dog crown

Petaluma - With a lolling tongue and a propensity to drool, English Bulldog Zsa Zsa won best in show at World's Ugliest Dog competition in Petaluma, California.

Busted flush: Japan fans spark plumbing pinch in World Cup loo dash

Apo - Armchair Japan fans following their team's 2-1 World Cup win over Colombia risked triggering a plumbing disaster of biblical proportions when millions rushed to the toilet at half-time.
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